I recently got my hands on a full version of a DVD creation software called WinX DVD Author by FreeTime Soft. A very neat and relatively small, about 35mb, program that converts most of the popular video formats into VOB format, the format that DVD uses. The demo, which limits you to only 5 minutes of video, is available for download.
The program is basically broken down into three steps: importing your videos, designing a layout for the menus and the actual converting and burning of the DVD.
Importing videos is relatively easy, I purposely downloaded three different formats from Gametrailers (MP4, QuickTime and WMV) to test out the compatibility and there was no problem importing them. During this step you can also select the start and end time of each video as well as choosing between standard 4:3 or the wide screen 16:9. You also have the option to create a DVD menu, which is the second step. Skipping the second step will lead directly to converting the videos to VOB format and the actual burning of the DVD.
At the bottom is where you can choose whether you want to burn a DVD 5 with 4300mb or dual layer DVD9 with 8500mb.
The second step is where you let your creativity out. You can pick one of the premade backgrounds or you can import your own image as the background. You have one background for the root menu and one for each video’s chapter menu. It is also interesting to point out that WinX DVD Author helps you divide each video into chapters so you don’t have to worry about chopping them into chapters yourself.
Nothing is complete without background music, WinX DVD Author lets you add background music, again one for the root menu and one for each video’s chapter menu.
When you are satisfied with the layout we can move on to the final step.
The last step is just as straight forward as the previous two steps. Here is where you will specify the output folder (where the converted VOB files are located), the output format (NTSC and PAL) and the encoder engine which allows you to pick from best video quality but slower converting speed, normal video quality and standard converting speed to low video quality with high converting speed.
When ready, press the big Start button and you will be prompted to insert a blank DVD into your DVD burner (if there isn’t one already). You have the option to burn it right away, or save the VOB files in the output folder and burn it to a DVD by going back to the main screen and select DVD Disc Burner where you can select the entire DVD output folder or individual VOB files for burning.
WinX DVD Author Functions & Features (From their web site):
Convert and burn
- Supports almost all video formats to DVD
- High quality and super fast (With high quality and fastest converting engine inside)
- With DVD Video disc burner inside and support most of DVD burn device
- Support batch conversion
- Author DVD Menu & Chapter Menu
- Support to add background music & picture to DVD menu
- Support 16:9 widescreen and 4:3 standard TV, NTSC and PAL video
- Support subtitle to DVD
- Support AC3 Audio
- Support all current hardware interfaces (IDE/SCSI/USB/1394/SATA)
- Support disc media: DVD+/-R, DVD+/- RW, DVD DL+R, DVD DL+/-RW, etc
- Support multilingual: English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, etc
Overall I think the program does what it intends to do without the frustration. But I do believe they can improve things here and there such as having one standard window instead of popping different ones with different sizes, having more Windows-like menus like File, Edit, Options etc across the top would make the program even more user friendly and finally being able to save the projects would be nice as well.